Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Back to the basics

It seems we need a refresher course. I've been reading different posts on various LDS blogs lately, and one thought continually comes to mind:

In 1820, a young man knelt down in a grove of trees to pray.

One of two things happened:

1) God the Father, and Jesus Christ, our Savior, appeared to him, and gave him specific counsel and thus opened the dispensation of the fullness of times, as Joseph Smith testified;

or

2) Nothing.
It's really quite simple. Either Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, or he wasn't.

If he was, that means the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ is true. All of it. Not just the parts that we like.

If he was, that means the same authority exists on the earth today and rests upon Gordon B. Hinckley.

If he was, that means the Book of Mormon is true.

If he was, that means that everything we have been taught over the last 175 years by the prophets and apostles is the will of God.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ isn't a buffet, where you pick and choose what you want, like salad toppings. It is, quite succinctly:

"The Kingdom of God, or nothing." - John Taylor
Maybe I'm not an "intellectual" like some others out there--that is absolutely, 100% fine with me. Because I have a sure knowledge of those things which are most important (see above, re: one of two things happened).

In summary: ...as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. - Josh. 24: 15

18 Comments:

At May 10, 2005 5:12 PM, Anonymous Eden said...

I've always felt that way reading some LDS blogs too. I've often thought if people didn't nit-pick so much they might not be so critical. Thanks for your perspective and your testimony.

 
At May 10, 2005 9:19 PM, Anonymous Sariah said...

I totally agree with you Eddie! And...uh...I hope my blog isn't one of the ones you're talking about!!!

 
At May 10, 2005 9:21 PM, Anonymous Sariah said...

Oh and I forgot to add - that's one of the reasons why I LOVE your blog! Thanks for keeping it real and being true to what you believe!

 
At May 10, 2005 11:20 PM, Blogger El Genio said...

Well said. I am new to the LDS blog arena (within the past few months anyway) and I couldn't agree more with what you have said.

 
At May 11, 2005 3:47 AM, Blogger Suzie Petunia said...

Thanks for your "refresher course", Eddie. It was so refreshing to stumble upon your site and find your down-to-earth, honest testimony. I needed that. Thanks.

 
At May 11, 2005 2:00 PM, Blogger Barbara said...

Amen!

Thank you for so clearly stating the basics.

Sometimes I wish that I were as clever as some of those intellectuals, but not at the cost of my testimony! Clever is not always wise.

Now if I can only learn to LIVE more fully what I firmly believe!

 
At May 12, 2005 12:52 PM, Blogger Aimee "Roo" said...

I am so glad that you posted this. I have to admit that I usually avoid most of the LDS blogs (not the personal ones, those I love) for this very reason, too much intellectualizing and not enough faith. Either it is true, or it isn't. Do we really need to worry about it so much?

 
At May 12, 2005 3:01 PM, Blogger bboy-Mike said...

While I agree that Joseph Smith to be a prophet, I don't necessary follow your logic: If he was, that means the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ is true. All of it. Not just the parts that we like.

What about the RLDS? They believe that Joseph Smith is a prophet, and thus, their religion is true as well. They use your same arugument, so how could you both be right?

I don't think it follows that simply because a man is a prophet, all else is true which eminates from that man. Even JS himself said that he was as such a man and not infallible, which seems to be your claim, i.e., J.S. is prophet; therefore, all things which come from the church are true. Seems a bit like a hasty conclusion to me (just my two cents)

 
At May 12, 2005 3:35 PM, Anonymous Incrivel said...

A hasty conclusion? Hardly.

You missed the entire purpose of the post, Bubble Boy. Eddie didn't go into the concept of the prophetic mantle, nor did he state that everything that came forth from the mouth of the Prophet Joseph was to be considered scripture. What Eddie did testify about was the basic underpinning doctrines of the restored gospel - and the simple truthfulness associated therewith. Square yourself with that and the rest of the gospel is pretty easy to figure out.

 
At May 12, 2005 3:38 PM, Anonymous Jonathan Max Wilson said...

Great Post. Often the bloggernacle really does seem rather anti-faith. Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God and the manifestation of the Holy Ghost within us confirms that as truth.

 
At May 12, 2005 3:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eddie, are you sure there aren't any possibilities other than:

1) God the Father, and Jesus Christ, our Savior, appeared to him, and gave him specific counsel and thus opened the dispensation of the fullness of times, as Joseph Smith testified;

or

2) Nothing.

?

 
At May 12, 2005 4:02 PM, Blogger Eddie said...

Underpinnings, good way of putting it, Incrivel (be careful lest you get some calling that will drag you to church meetings early every Sunday. Oops, too late for that).

The "underpinnings" of the gospel answer such things brought up by bboy.

It goes back to the tested tried and true Sunday School answers about prayer, scripture study, etc.

And, as Jonathon said, a witness from the Holy Spirit.

You know, the basics.

Which brings me back to the point of the post... Thanks, bboy, for illustrating the motivation behind my original post.

 
At May 12, 2005 4:31 PM, Blogger Eddie said...

Sariah: Yeah, I've been meaning to talk to you about the apostate stuff you post over there, lol. I'd say the blogs on my blogroll are in general excepted from what I refer to (as are many others that I regularly read, but have never gotten around to linking). Of course, someone could always prove me wrong...

Anonymous: #2 could read "He didn't." My point was, either he was a prophet of God, or he wasn't. If #1 didn't happen, it doesn't really matter to me what did (or didn't). Since I firmly believe #1 did happen, I'm concerned with #2 even less.

 
At May 12, 2005 6:57 PM, Anonymous Dan-O said...

When I served my mission we first explained our belief in God and Jesus Christ.

Next we testified of Joseph Smith, and invited those with whom we met to pray to find out for themselves. A testimony of the foundation is required, before building upon that foundation.

Great post, thanks for the reality check.

 
At May 13, 2005 2:42 AM, Blogger bboy-Mike said...

@incrivel

I'm square. Didn't I put that at the top of my comment? I believe Joseph Smith to be a prophet

I simply made the observation that members of different faiths use the exact same argument about Joseph Smith, i.e., he is a true prophet; therefore, their church is true.

So, while it may be an attractive dichotomy that Eddie sets up, I'd say it is a false dichotomy used to persuade others to rest their faith on the actions of one man.

What about addressing the fact that other faiths see J.S. as a prophet of God? Doesn't this create a dilemma for Eddie? If not, why not?

 
At May 13, 2005 3:33 PM, Blogger Emily F said...

well not really, Eddie also mentioned if Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, then the Book of Mormon is true.....and if that's true, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is true. The Book of Mormon is the key stone of our religion. And Jesus Christ is the corner stone. Joseph Smith was the first true prophet with God's priesthood power for the restoration and the priesthood continues unbroken for the dispensation of the fullness of times. I don't think you can really, truly believe Joseph Smith was a prophet (and therefore Gordon B Hinckley now is) and not believe the Book of Mormon AND Doctrine and Covenants.

 
At May 19, 2005 3:00 PM, Blogger Commander Neil said...

@emily

Well, you raise an interesting point. If the Book of Mormon is true, then the church is necessarily true, right? Wrong.

Do you believe in the New Testament? Is the New Testament true? Then the Catholic church, who is ultimately responsible for putting the New Testament together, is true.

The same would go for the Koran, Talmud, etc.

Not to mention that the community of Christ (RLDS) also uses the Book of Mormon.

 
At May 26, 2005 4:48 PM, Blogger Eddie said...

Bubbleboy: Did Joseph bestow the restored keys of priesthood authority on his posterity, or did he give the keys of ministering the gospel to twelve apostles called by revelation?

Your argument holds no water, but thanks for playing.

You might consider these words, shared by Elder Bruce Hafen some 25 years ago, when speaking of college students who feel "enlightened" and the need to be skeptical of everything in order to prove their intelligence:

"I found myself wanting to tell [such] students that those who take too much delight in their finely honed tools of skepticism and dispassionate analysis will limit their effectiveness, in the church and elsewhere, because they can become contentious, standoffish, arrogant, and unwilling to commit themselves. I have seen some of these try out their new intellectual tools in some context like a priesthood quorum or a Sunday School class. A well-meaning teacher will make a point they think is a little silly, and they will feel an irresistible urge to leap to their feet and pop the teacher’s bubble. If they are successful, they begin looking for other opportunities to point out the exception to any rule anybody can state. They begin to delight in cross-examination of the unsuspecting, just looking for somebody’s bubble up there floating around so that they can pop it with their shiny new pin of skepticism. And in all that, they fail to realize that when some of those bubbles pop, out goes the air, and with it goes much of the feeling of trust, loyalty, harmony, and sincerity so essential to preserving the Spirit of the Lord."

 

<< Home